"Economic bullying"; More additions to the Entity List?; Huawei's week gets worse; German asylum for HK fugitives

Happy Wednesday…

The propaganda rollout for Xi’s Jiangxi inspection tour has begun, and in addition to some of the themes discussed in yesterday’s newsletter we are also seeing messaging about technological self-reliance. During the tour he also convened a meeting on the development of central China that included the Party secretaries of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan, as well as He Lifeng, head of the NDRC.

Huawei’s hell week looks to be getting hotter, as the BBC reports that chip designer ARM is halting all cooperation with Huawei. If true then Huawei could really be hurt.

The "dam has burst", the "shackles are off" are among the phrases I am hearing in DC to describe the US government reaction in the wake of the trade talks collapse, and I am not sure Beijing grasps how quickly the US-China relationship could get much worse.

China does not want a rapid deterioration in the relationship, but I doubt Xi will just pick up the phone to call Trump, as Trump likely wants. Xi may try to use an emissary, perhaps someone with a reputation as "firefighter", to try to restore the conditions for Trump and Xi to at least get on the phone, and maybe have a constructive, substantive meeting at the G-20 in late June. Xi may think ramping up the nationalist rhetoric somehow creates leverage for him when he finally re-engages with Trump (look, I have so many angry citizens and it is really hard for me to give you everything you want…) but if that is the case I doubt he will find many buyers in DC.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Xi’s Jiangxi inspection tour

Xi requires new advances in rise of central China - Xinhua

Xi...made the remarks during his inspection tour of Jiangxi Province from Monday to Wednesday.

During the inspection, Xi presided over a work symposium on the rise of the central region and delivered a speech.

Xi's first stop in Ganzhou City of Jiangxi was JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. Ltd. Visiting the company Monday, he underlined scientific and technological innovation to raise the technological level of exploitation of rare earth, which is strategically important but nonrenewable.

Arriving at Yudu County on Monday afternoon, Xi paid tribute to a monument marking the departure of the Long March by the Central Red Army and met families of the Red Army veterans and revolutionary martyrs.

Noting that China is on "a new Long March," he said that the country will depend on firm faith and strong will of the whole Party and all people to overcome major challenges at home and abroad and secure new victories in building socialism with Chinese characteristics...

He made an eight-point instruction on the development of central China, which consisted of facilitating high-quality growth of the manufacturing industry, enhancing innovation capability in key fields, improving business environment, undertaking the layout and transfer of emerging industries, expanding high-level opening-up, sticking to green development, improving people's livelihood, and optimizing policies and institutions.

Top 22 minutes of the Wednesday CCTV Evening News on Xi's Jiangxi tour - 习近平在江西考察并主持召开推动中部地区崛起工作座谈会时强调 贯彻新发展理念推动高质量发展 奋力开创中部地区崛起新局面_CCTV

习近平:贯彻新发展理念推动高质量发展 奋力开创中部地区崛起新局面--时政--人民网


Google translate: Xi Jinping affirmed the company's efforts to increase scientific research investment, commit to scientific and technological innovation, and pay attention to ecological restoration. He emphasized that technological innovation is the lifeblood of enterprises. Only with independent intellectual property rights and core technologies can we produce products with core competitiveness and be in an invincible position in the fierce competition. It is necessary to firmly grasp the strategic basis of technological innovation, master more key core technologies, and seize the commanding heights of the industry. Rare earth is an important strategic resource and a non-renewable resource. It is necessary to intensify efforts in scientific and technological innovation, continuously improve the technological level of development and utilization, extend the industrial chain, increase added value, strengthen project environmental protection, and achieve green development and sustainable development.

Xi Jinping calls for self-reliance as China grapples with long-term US challenge | South China Morning Post

“Technological innovation is the root of life for businesses,” Xi said on Monday on a visit to Jiangxi province, state-run news agency Xinhua reported. “Only if we own our own intellectual property and core technologies, then can we produce products with core competitiveness and [we] won’t be beaten in intensifying competition.”..

“Our country is still in the middle of a period of opportunity for important strategic development,” he said. “We must keep a clear mind of the long-term and complex nature of all the unfavourable factors from home and abroad, and appropriately prepare for all the possible difficult challenges that may happen.”

Xi stresses military personnel education for strong armed forces - Xinhua

President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of better education of military personnel for building strong armed forces, when inspecting the Army Infantry College of the People's Liberation Army in east China's Jiangxi Province Tuesday.

Military education should meet the requirements of combat, the needs of the armed forces and the demands of future missions, said Xi..

When briefed about the work of the college, Xi stressed the need to follow the right political direction and strengthen Party leadership and Party building.

He asked the college to train the cadets for combat and focus on how to win when called on.

Long piece in the 5.22 People's Daily by Renmin U VP Liu Yuanchun on recognizing and grasping the important strategic opportunity period in China's Development - 认识把握我国发展的重要战略机遇期--理论-人民网 

2. US-China trade

Mnuchin says further U.S. tariffs on China at least a month away - Reuters

“There won’t be any decision probably for another 30 to 45 days,” Mnuchin said at a hearing with U.S. lawmakers, adding that he had spoken with Walmart Inc’s chief financial officer about how the tariffs will impact consumer prices.

AmCham Shanghai and AmCham China Joint Tariff Survey Release | Amcham

The negative impact of tariffs is clear and hurting the competitiveness of American companies in China. The vast majority (74.9%) of respondents said the increases in U.S. and Chinese tariffs are having a negative impact on their businesses. The impact was higher for manufacturers at 81.5% for U.S. tariffs and 85.2% for Chinese tariffs. The impact of the tariffs is felt through lower demand for products (52.1%), higher manufacturing costs (42.4%), and higher sales prices for products (38.2%).

To cope with the impact of the tariffs, companies are increasingly adopting an “In China, for China” strategy (35.3%), or delaying and canceling investment decisions (33.2%). ..

While over half of respondents (53.1%) have not seen any increase in non-tariff retaliatory measures by the Chinese government, roughly one in five have experienced increased inspections (20.1%) and slower customs clearance (19.7%)...

Approximately 40.7% of respondents are considering or have relocated manufacturing facilities outside China.

Comment: And how many US execs are not seriously concerned about safety living or traveling to China, in the wake of the Huawei actions?

People's Daily "Zhong Sheng" goes after the US for blaming China for blowing up the trade deal, says the US claims that China tried to change the terms are another example of US bullying - 人民日报钟声:轻舟已过万重山——“中国退步论”可以休矣-新华网

Chinese ambassador on trade talks: The US 'changes its mind so often' - CNBC

“If we review the process of trade talks between us over the last year or so, it is quite clear it is the U.S. side that, more than once, changed its mind overnight, and broke the tentative deal already reached,” Cui told Fox News.

“It is the U.S. side who changes its mind so often,” Cui added.

US firms in China fear 'retaliation' against Huawei curbs: AmCham - BBC News

"Particularly in the wake of the decision to put Huawei on the... entity list, there are concerns that the government of China may decide to retaliate against American companies," Mr Stratford said.

"These are real concerns, and they increase the risk as people are considering how they should make adjustments to their business models," he said.

China's GAC Motor postpones its US launch as trade war drags on - CNBC

The automaker, headquartered in Guangzhou in southern China, said its entrance into the U.S., which was anticipated for this year, will be postponed.

“The current relationship between the U.S. and China, the trade war, the relationship is uncertain” said Hebin Zeng, president of international at GAC Motor. “We postponed the plan to enter the North American market.”

China tariffs could force 'widespread store closures' and put $40 billion in sales at risk - USATODAY.com

The trade war with China could cause prices to rise on everything from toys to clothing, but it also could lead to “widespread store closures,” according to a report by UBS. 

The investment bank's analysis said tariffs on Chinese imports could put $40 billion of sales and 12,000 stores at risk.

“The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the report

Trump to Prep $15 Billion Aid For Farmers Hit By China Trade War - Bloomberg

The administration is considering payments of about $2 per bushel to soybean growers, 63 cents per bushel to wheat growers and 4 cents per bushel to corn growers to compensate for losses from the trade war, according to two people familiar with the payment levels, who asked not to be identified because the aid plan hasn’t been made public.

Maine’s lobster exports to China plunge 84 percent due to trade war:

The tariffs, implemented in July 2018, had an immediate affect on the state’s lobster industry. Prior to the tariffs, Maine had been on track to have a record-setting year, with USD 87 million (EUR 77.8 million) worth of lobster exported through June 2018, over double the USD 42 million (EUR 37.5 million) shipped through the same period in 2017. 

Soon after tariffs were implemented, however, Maine’s exports to China nearly disappeared completely, and according to the latest data from the MITC exports have plunged nearly 84 percent since the tariffs were implemented. 

3. Huawei

Huawei: ARM memo tells staff to stop working with China’s tech giant - BBC News

ARM instructed employees to halt "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei and its subsidiaries to comply with a recent US trade clampdown.

ARM's designs form the basis of most mobile device processors worldwide.

In a company memo, it said its designs contained “US origin technology”.

As a consequence, it believes it is affected by the Trump administration's ban.

One analyst described the move, if it became long-term, as an “insurmountable” blow to Huawei’s business...

The ban also appeared to apply to ARM China, the China-based company in which ARM Holdings owns a 49% stake. It was set up as a joint venture with a Chinese investment consortium last year in order to enable ARM to develop, sell and offer support for its products in the region.

Huawei Consumer Electronics Chief Braces for ‘Tough Time’ — The Information

Huawei has been working on a homegrown operating system for several years, it has been previously reported. The effort, known internally as “Project Z,” has had its ups and downs and remains far from ready, people familiar with Project Z said. And even when Huawei finalizes the OS, the much bigger challenge will be to build an entire ecosystem of apps on top of the operating system, they said…

“I can’t believe that the U.S. government has limited Android. It’s a consumer product that has no relationship to network security issues,” said Mr. Yu in the interview, conducted over WeChat. It was a “big surprise for me.”..

Huawei continues to depend heavily on Intel’s processors and radio-frequency parts from U.S. suppliers such as Skyworks Solutions, the employees said.

Huawei’s laptop business, for example, would shut down if it couldn’t work with Intel or Microsoft, they said.

Wang Yi says US actions against Huawei is typical "economic bullying behavior" - 王毅:美国打压华为是典型的经济霸凌行为 - 国内 - 新京报网

Another "International sharp commentary" from CCTV, this one on using "technology bullying" to keep China down, and why China won't take it and why it will fail, and how Chinese tech firms will use it as the opportunity to establish technological independence from the US...this one read by CCTV anchor Ouyang Xiadan, not as angry sounding as Kang Hui - 国际锐评:企图用“技术霸凌”打压中国,是痴心妄想!_CCTV

Steve Bannon says killing Huawei more important than trade deal with China | South China Morning Post

“It is a massive national security issue to the West,” Bannon said, in a phone interview on Saturday with the South China Morning Post. “The executive order is 10 times more important than walking away from the trade deal. It [Huawei] is a major national security threat, not just to the US but to the rest of the world. We are going to shut it down”...

Bannon, who was fired by Trump in August 2017, is also calling for shutting Chinese companies out of American capital markets.
“The next move we make is to cut off all the IPOs, unwind all the pension funds and insurance companies in the US that provide capital to the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Comment: Bannon seems to be having quite the revival, and looks to have big plans and financing heading into the 2020 elections

CCTV "News 1+1" interviews Ren Zhengfei - 《新闻1+1》 20190521 任正非:正解“华为被禁”是与非!_CCT

Asian carriers step away from new Huawei smartphones - Nikkei Asian Review

Japan's SoftBank Corp. will not begin selling P30 lite smartphones on Friday as planned, while KDDI is delaying sales of the premium handset, originally due at the end this month.

Taiwan's state-owned Chunghwa Telecom, the island's largest telecom operator, told the Nikkei Asian Review that it would "halt buying new Huawei devices for sale as of now," though it would continue selling existing models already on its shelves.

Taiwan's second-largest telecom operator, Taiwan Mobile, late on Wednesday joined the ranks of carriers turning away from the Chinese smartphone maker

EE and Vodafone pull Huawei phones from UK 5G launch | Financial Times $$

Two of Britain’s largest mobile phone operators have pulled Huawei’s phones from their 5G networks, joining other global telecoms groups in dropping launch plans after the Chinese group was hit by a US export ban that could stop it using Google’s Android operating system.

Trump loves walls. But he should be careful about a digital barrier with China. - The Washington Post

Working with allies, never Trump’s strong suit, will be crucial here. Right now, there’s no good alternative to Huawei’s 5G technology. Somehow, the United States needs to encourage catch-up work by South Korea’s Samsung, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson. Bizarrely, the administration didn’t pre-brief allies on its Huawei plan...

It’s a measure of Trump’s erratic dealmaking style that the first question for many observers was whether the president was serious about banning Huawei, or whether he was simply applying more pressure to get his stalled trade deal. Trump backed off last year from a similar squeeze against ZTE, another big Chinese telecom company, after a personal plea from President Xi Jinping.

Trump-watchers doubt he’s bluffing this time. He recently told close advisers, “We have to win the 5G fight, period,” according to former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who attended the session. “I don’t think we have any choice,” Gingrich told me, because the alternative to checking Huawei is Chinese dominance of digital infrastructure.

4. More PRC firms to go on Entity List?

Trump Administration Could Blacklist China’s Hikvision, a Surveillance Firm - The New York Times

The move would effectively place the company, Hikvision, on a United States blacklist. It also would mark the first time the Trump administration punished a Chinese company for its role in the surveillance and mass detention of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority...

Hikvision is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance products and is central to China’s ambitions to be the top global exporter of surveillance systems. The Commerce Department may require that American companies obtain government approval to supply components to Hikvision, limiting the company’s access to technology that helps power its equipment.

U.S. Considers Blacklisting Five Chinese Surveillance Firms - Bloomberg

The U.S. is deliberating whether to add Hikvision, Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. and several unidentified others to a blacklist that bars them from U.S. components or software, people familiar with the matter said. The Trump administration is concerned about their role in helping Beijing repress minority Uighurs in China’s west, they said, asking not to be identified talking about private deliberations. There’s concern also that Hikvision’s or Dahua’s cameras, which come with facial recognition capabilities, could be employed in espionage, the people said.

China Surveillance Tycoons Lose Billions as U.S. Tensions Rise - Bloomberg

The billionaires behind Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. have watched their combined fortunes sink by more than $8 billion since March 2018 as shares of both companies sank on speculation of potential U.S. sanctions. The losses deepened on Wednesday after reports that Donald Trump’s administration is considering blacklisting the surveillance giants, in part because of their alleged role in human rights violations.

5. Hong Kong, PRC

In a Possible First for Hong Kong, Activists Wanted by Police Gain Protection in Germany - The New York Times

Two years ago, Ray Wong and Alan Li, political activists in Hong Kong, were facing rioting charges over an all-night street clash with the police. They jumped bail and disappeared.

Now they have come forward to say that they are under refugee protection in Germany, making them likely to be the first individuals from the semiautonomous Chinese city to have obtained such sanctuary. The move could be a turning point in shifting global views of Hong Kong, where individual freedoms have eroded as Beijing tightens its hold, threatening the city’s reputation as an oasis of rule of law in Asia.

Mong Kok riot fugitives offered asylum in Germany a ‘damaging blow’ to Hong Kong’s reputation and likely to anger Beijing, analyst say | South China Morning Post

Two fugitives who skipped bail on rioting charges in Hong Kong have reportedly been granted refugee protection in Germany, a move analysts said would anger Beijing and be a damaging blow to the city’s reputation.

Ray Wong Toi-yeung and Alan Li Tung-sing, who both advocate Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China, are wanted by police and face charges in relation to the Mong Kok riot in 2016, which left more than 100 people injured.

Beijing fully supports HK law amendments - China Daily

Vice-Premier Han Zheng said the central government supports the amendments to Hong Kong's extradition law proposed by the government of the special administrative region.

Han made the remark while meeting on Tuesday with more than 100 representatives from the Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations in Beijing.

He said through the SAR government's efforts and a rational discussion among the people of Hong Kong, the city will eventually reach a consensus and any doubts over the issue will be dispelled.

Chinese official in Hong Kong urges action on extradition bills - CNBC

Song Ruan, deputy commissioner for the Chinese foreign ministry office in Hong Kong, sought Tuesday to offer reassurance that the city has nothing to fear, telling reporters that China “respects the jurisdiction” of the local government.

Still, he suggested patience is running out, stressing it is long past time to act as nearly 22 years have passed since Hong Kong’s reversion to China and the territory has fugitive transfer facilities with a number of countries and regions.

Philippines demands Hong Kong explain grilling of former official who accused President Xi Jinping of crimes against humanity at International Criminal Court | South China Morning Post

Former Supreme Court associate justice Conchita Carpio-Morales was held for three hours at airport by immigration officers

She was one of two officials to file a complaint over Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea

6. PRC money in US politics?

In China, a flourishing industry claims to sell access to President Trump - The Washington Post

One invitation promised a breakfast reception with the U.S. president. Another offered one-on-one photos with him. And a third claimed to “allow you to communicate with President Trump face to face and brief him on your business plans and demands.”

The offers, promoted online to wealthy entrepreneurs in China in the form of official-looking invitations, are part of a sprawling cottage industry claiming to provide intimate access to Trump, sometimes at official Republican fundraisers and often for a hefty fee...

Officials with the Republican National Committee said that neither they nor the Trump campaign has had anything to do with the solicitations.

But seven of the invitations referenced events that took place, including GOP fundraisers. If Chinese nationals paid to attend fundraisers, it would be illegal under U.S. law because foreigners are not allowed to donate to American candidates or political committees.

7. BYD’s DC lobbying prowess

Despite national security concerns, GOP leader McCarthy blocked bipartisan bid to limit China’s role in U.S. transit - The Washington Post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blocked a bipartisan attempt to limit Chinese companies from contracting with U.S. transit systems, a move that benefited a Chinese government-backed manufacturer with a plant in his district, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

His behind-the-scenes intervention came as Congress was trying this year to craft a spending compromise to avert another government shutdown. McCarthy pressed lawmakers to strip out language that could have prevented the company in his district, BYD Motors, from winning federal contracts, and they relented because they feared imperiling the bill

Comment: And in the current environment woe to any politician who is seen as “soft” on China going into the 2020 election.

8. Tunnel vision

China Mulls Next Super Project: The Longest Undersea Tunnel - Caixin

A plan to construct an undersea tunnel linking the northern port cities of Yantai, Shandong province, and Dalian in Liaoning has been submitted for approval to the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner…

The $43 billion project would be part of the central government’s strategy for enhancing connectivity in the northeast part of the country and encourage regional economic growth...

Though Dalian and Yantai are only 170 kilometers apart over the Bohai Sea, travel between them takes 12 to 15 hours for a 1,400-kilometer road trip around the bay or more than six hours by ferry. An undersea tunnel would cut the trip to about one hour, Sun said...

Experts finalized studies on the project after 27 years of discussion. The NDRC review is a key step for major infrastructure projects preceding construction.

Business, Economy and Trade

Electric cars: China powers the battery supply chain  | Financial Times $$ The latest example of China’s ability to channel prodigious amounts of capital to fast growing industries, the country produced over 60 per cent of the world’s lithium in April, compared with less than 1 per cent from the US, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

China's Economic Slowdown Hits Industrial Heartland Of Chongqing : NPR For more than a decade, Chongqing's economy sped ahead with double-digit annual growth. But last year, the city's gross domestic product grew less than expected at 6% — its slowest pace since 1989, according to the South China Morning Post. Industrial output overall grew just 3%, a 30-year low, the site said, while production in the auto sector plunged more than 17%, compared with the previous year.

State Council forms leading group on employment - Gov.cn The State Council has decided to form a leading group on employment aimed at better implementing the employment-first policy, according to a circular issued by the General Office of the State Council on May 22. Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua was appointed as the leader of the group.

New Credit Bureau Finds Good Data Is Hard to Come By Baihang was launched last year to collect and pool information from lending channels outside the traditional financial system. The idea was to supplement the People’s Bank of China’s credit reporting database — launched in 2006 — which primarily gathers data from banks and other traditional lenders. Baihang was created to collect data from other sources such as consumer finance firms, online lenders and peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms to rate the creditworthiness of consumers. One of the major hurdles Baihang has faced is the reluctance of many small institutions to share much of their client information. In addition, some of the data collected from such institutions are too rudimentary to meet the requirements of its credit reporting system.

PBOC to streamline lending interest rate system - China Daily The PBOC has blamed the coexistence of regulated benchmark rates for deposit and lending, and the market-decided rates, as the main stumbling block for channeling cheap capital into the real economy, especially to support private and small companies.

High-Tech Board Names and Shames Brokerage for Doctored Numbers - Caixin Global Wan Jiuqing and Mo Peng, employees of China International Capital Corp. (CICC), had changed crucial numbers relating to the operations, tech capabilities and management of Traffic Control Technology, which hopes to list on the new board with the sponsorship of CICC.

China’s Anbang receives $5.8bn bid for US luxury hotels | Financial Times $$ The sale of Chicago-based Strategic Hotels, one of Anbang’s most valuable assets in the US, comes after the insurer was placed under the control of Chinese regulators last year when its founder Wu Xiaohui was jailed for 18 years on fraud and embezzlement charges.

Leading China health tech start-up ensnared by Cfius | Financial Times $$ The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States, a US agency that has the power to order divestments of deals already done, told iCarbonX to back out of its investments in PatientsLikeMe and HealthTell, two US healthcare companies, long after the deals closed, according to people involved.

Chinese Regulators Target Smart Deposits, Structured Deposits - China Banking News Several sources from the Chinese banking sector said to 21st Century Business Herald that regulators convened a meeting at the start of May demanding that the industry adopt self-disciplinary measures to clean up their smart deposit operations. In China smart deposits are demand deposits for which interest is calculated on a graded basis in accordance with average daily scale.

Politics and Law

China’s anti-corruption agency questions official who approved ‘Made In China 2025’ vehicle subsidies | South China Morning Post The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Li Dong, director of the industrial equipment department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing, was “suspected of serious violation of party discipline and law” – party speak for corruption. 工业和信息化部装备工业司司长李东接受纪律审查和监察调查

Chinese procuratorates supervise 5,455 false litigation cases since 2017 - Xinhua There was a dramatic rising trend in the number of such cases, with 652 being handled in the first three months of this year, according to the SPP. The SPP statistics show that the supervised cases were mainly on disputes over private lending, real estate ownership, as well as on remuneration claims.

Ex-Moutai Chairman Ousted From Communist Party as Corruption Charges Loom - Caixin Global In a CCDI report released Wednesday, Yuan is charged with using his power at state-owned Moutai as a “tool” to please “political powers, build connections, and exchange interests” — terms often used by the CCDI to refer to corruption. Yuan was also charged with exchanging money and power for sex, according to the statement. Interestingly, the corruption watchdog specifically accused Yuan of “family-style corruption” — meaning close-knit relatives in key positions were at involved in the alleged misconduct.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

China: U.S. resembles Don Quixote in seeing other powers as threats - Reuters “The Cold War mentality has come back to drive the security strategy and policy of a major power,” China’s disarmament ambassador Li Song told the Conference on Disarmament, a long-stalemated arena for arms talks at the United Nations in Geneva. “In particular the U.S. keeps saying other countries make it feel unsafe – this is truly baffling,” he said.

China to send 6-8 BeiDou-3 navigation satellites by year-end: official - Global Times China will send another six to eight BeiDou-3 (BDS-3) navigation satellites into space before the end of 2019, and complete construction of BDS-3 - the new generation global navigation satellite system - by 2020, a senior official said Wednesday.

China honors amputee demining soldier - Xinhua Du Fuguo, a soldier who lost his eyes and arms in an explosion during a mine clearance operation, was honored by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Wednesday. Du, who was a demining soldier of the People's Liberation Army, was awarded the title "role model of our times" at a ceremony in Beijing.

Vanuatu to seek more Belt and Road assistance from Beijing: PM - Reuters Vanuatu will seek more Chinese financial support for infrastructure development through the Belt and Road initiative during an upcoming visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said on Wednesday.

Chinese woman Zhang Yujing, who was arrested at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, wants to fire lawyers and represent herself | AP Assistant federal public defender says Zhang has refused to meet her lawyers and raised concerns about her mental health Judge warns her against ‘bad decision’, refusing to allow Zhang to dismiss lawyers until she has been examined by psychiatrist

US-China battle for influence prompts Donald Trump to welcome leaders of South Pacific island nations to the White House | South China Morning Post US President Donald Trump for the first time hosted the leaders of three Pacific island nations at the White House on Tuesday, as part of Washington’s diplomatic push to counter China’s bid for influence in the region. The brief but symbolic meeting demonstrated US support at a time when Washington is pushing back against expanding Chinese influence in the Pacific.

Hong Kong and Macao

Access to audit papers – state secrets – of mainland companies to help Hong Kong regulator’s investigations | South China Morning Post Hong Kong’s accounting regulator will get access to audit papers of mainland companies, considered as “state secrets” in a landmark agreement, which will assist in nine ongoing investigations. Under the memorandum of understanding between the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the regulator for auditors of listed companies in Hong Kong and a unit of China’s Ministry of Finance, the FRC can request the ministry to get access to the auditor’s papers in the mainland to help with its investigations

Taiwan's New Party chairman to visit mainland - Xinhua Yok Mu-ming, chairman of Taiwan-based New Party, will lead a delegation of personages from various circles in Taiwan to visit the Chinese mainland from May 24 to 30


multiverse on Vimeo cool artistic video of scooters in traffic in Taiwan

Tech and Media

China gives more chip design firms a tax break amid trade tensions - Reuters In line with a state council directive in early May, the finance ministry said on Wednesday that companies in integrated circuit design and software industries will be exempt from paying income taxes in the first two years if they became profitable before the end of 2018.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

TFBoy Roy Wang Busted Smoking in Beijing Sushi Restaurant – Thatsmags.com TFBoy Wang Yuan has found himself in the crosshairs of both social media users and Beijing Health Supervision Authority after images of him smoking in a Beijing sushi restaurant surfaced online. Smoking has been banned in indoor public areas and offices in China’s capital city since June 2015.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Steely ambition: China's Baowu eyes moving blast furnaces to Cambodia - Reuters The equipment to be moved would come from Xinjiang Bayi Nanjiang Steel Baicheng Co Ltd, a Baowu subsidiary based in Aksu in far northwest China. The plant was shut in 2017…“This equipment may be seen as outdated in China, but it is still quite advanced in Cambodia,” the manager said.

Generate - Axios - Chart of the day: China's fast auto rise By the numbers: "Beijing’s car ownership reached a level in 10 years that took 50 years to attain in New York City," it notes. Where it stands: That's wild, but the underlying paper from Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy discusses its energy impact too. It explores how tiny EVs — called Low Speed Electric Vehicles (LSEVs) — selling in large numbers in China can displace gasoline. There's already several million on the roads.


Nanjing School Heads Detained Over Fake Nursing Programs - Sixth Tone Top administrators at two vocational schools in the eastern city of Nanjing have been apprehended on suspicion of fraud after students and parents in late April protested an unapproved nursing program being offered by the schools